WIRED: Google’s Clever Plan to Stop Aspiring ISIS Recruits

Jigsaw, Google’s think-tank, has used Google’s search advertising algorithms to help dissuade people searching for information on joining ISIS to, y’know, not join.

The program, which Jigsaw calls the Redirect Method and plans to launch in a new phase this month, places advertising alongside results for any keywords and phrases that Jigsaw has determined people attracted to ISIS commonly search for. Those ads link to Arabic- and English-language YouTube channels that pull together preexisting videos Jigsaw believes can effectively undo ISIS’s brainwashing—clips like testimonials from former extremists, imams denouncing ISIS’s corruption of Islam, and surreptitiously filmed clips inside the group’s dysfunctional caliphate in Northern Syria and Iraq.

That’s brilliant and an actual display of courage. Google deserves all the high-fives.


"Nearly Coherent: The Lotto, Genies, and Other Improbable Things"
Incoherent Rambling, Linkin' Log, Podcasts

Nearly Coherent: The Lotto, Genies, and Other Improbable Things

In this episode of The Nearly Coherent Podcast: Jeff enjoys playing the lottery! Everyone talks about what they’d wish for if they found a genie! Dave has a fan club(?)!

Unrelated to the episode, doesn’t “improbable” look like it’s spelled incorrectly? It’s not! It’s just a weird freakin’ word like that, you guys.

"The New Yorker: Trump’s Boswell Speaks"
Linkin' Log, Politics

The New Yorker: Trump’s Boswell Speaks

The New Yorker has a piece on “The Art of The Deal” ghostwriter Tony Schwartz’s feelings on a Donald Trump presidency. It’s only slightly horrifying.

Starting in late 1985, Schwartz spent eighteen months with Trump—camping out in his office, joining him on his helicopter, tagging along at meetings, and spending weekends with him at his Manhattan apartment and his Florida estate. During that period, Schwartz felt, he had got to know him better than almost anyone else outside the Trump family. Until Schwartz posted the tweet, though, he had not spoken publicly about Trump for decades. It had never been his ambition to be a ghostwriter, and he had been glad to move on. But, as he watched a replay of the new candidate holding forth for forty-five minutes, he noticed something strange: over the decades, Trump appeared to have convinced himself that he had written the book. Schwartz recalls thinking, “If he could lie about that on Day One—when it was so easily refuted—he is likely to lie about anything.”

This is fine.

"Nearly Coherent: All Hail The Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich"
Linkin' Log, Podcasts

Nearly Coherent: All Hail The Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich

In this episode of The Nearly Coherent Podcast, eD!’s excited about a new Roy Rogers opening in New Jersey and talks about how he’s going to eat so many holsters of fries! Jeff enjoys eating street meat in general and more than eating at an Applebee’s in Times Square specifically! And everyone ranks their favorite fast food franchises!

In case you couldn’t tell, we were kinda hungry when we recorded this episode. It happens, y’know?

"Nearly Coherent: Capitalizing on WWDC While It’s Topical!"
Podcasts, Technology

Nearly Coherent: Capitalizing on WWDC While It’s Topical!

In this episode of The Nearly Coherent Podcast, eD! and Jeff discuss some of the new stuff Apple announced at their WWDC keynote yesterday, question if “Dick Tracy” still holds up as a movie, get into a Twitter account dick-measuring contest between Jeff and Dave, and try to figure out how Jeff will send his friends weird ASCII-art images mixed with emojis if emojis are now going to be three times bigger.